Changi International Airport Terminal 3

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Changi International Airport Terminal 3

Changi is one of the world’s top rated international airports. The terminal complex was planned in successive phases to be built in response to demand. Construction is complete on terminal 3 and it mirrors the massing of terminal 2 across the boulevard. The airport functions as a transfer hub for long distance flights and therefore offers an exceptional array of amenities such as swimming pools, gardens and movie theaters (as well as the usual retail and food service establishments) for passengers with long layovers. Singapore’s airport authority wanted the appearance of the new terminal to be harmonious with that of the existing buildings while responding to the airport program and the tropical climate in a unique way. The design of the terminal building utilizes the consistent equatorial sun to limit the amount of energy required for lighting and minimizes the cooling load of the building. A single flat roof spans the major spaces of terminal 3. At 250 meters by 300 meters it covers approximately 22 acres. Within the structural framework of the roof a pattern of 2000 skylight openings has been established that will allow the terminal to be illuminated completely by natural daylight for eight hours a day, regardless of cloud cover. Daylight is modified by a system of louvers both above and below the roof to meet the requirements of the zones of the building. On cloudy days they open to admit the maximum amount of illumination. If the electronic sensors detect a cloudless sky the louvers close to limit the amount of light and heat entering the building. In landscaped areas the louvers are designed to reflect additional daylight towards the plants. More light is also allowed into the circulation and retail areas where changing patterns on the floor and walls help animate the space. The louvers below the roof are fixed at specific angles that allow some to channel daylight to the floor of the terminal while other reflect light up to the ceiling. By night, artificial light from easily accessible sources near the floor is reflected off the louvers to provide uniform illumination within the terminal. Although the components of the roof system have been arrayed to fulfill specific technical requirements in the various zones of the building, their overall appearance is intended to be homogeneous. The large number of angled metal surfaces blurs the legibility of the structural trusses, skylight openings and ceiling plane to soften their otherwise technical quality. As passengers move beneath the ceiling shifting relationships between the panels add to the sense of dynamism in the terminal. The sustainable strategy that maximizes daylight and introduces significant landscaping within the building allows it to act as a bridge between the lush natural environment of Singapore and the technological realm of air travel.

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